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How understanding a consumer’s mindset helps OTC companies defend their place in the market

Until now, understanding the mindset of the Over-the-counter (OTC) consumer, given the wealth of information and multiple touchpoints they encounter in every digital environment, was complex and hard to unravel. But it’s the essence of determining what impacts a consumer’s purchasing behavior, an issue so vital to OTC companies who are fighting an increasingly challenging battle against competitors’. We know that consumers are willing to pay more for OTC brands recommended by healthcare professionals (HCP). In fact, consumers paid up to 54% more on average when buying a specific recommended product, according to a study by GfK on recommendation behavior. Expert recommendations are clearly a defining way to influence consumer purchase behavior. So how do you get to the heart of their thinking and deliver much-needed insights?

The emerging digital technologies open up an endless scope of opportunities for new digitized market research tools. For many years, market research tools were contrived, expensive or simply incapable of providing the relevant insights into consumer behavior at the point of purchase.

Now, with the rise of innovations like virtual reality, Health marketers have real opportunities to observe consumers in a controlled, true-to-life test environment mimicking the physical reality of a pharmacy. Such a setting offers a much more realistic and credible manner to obtain evidence of how health brand consumers shop at the shelf and in the category.

So what are the advantages for the consumer health market?

Connecting the dots, driving conversion through conversation

OTC health brand consumers still finalize the vast majority of their decisions in-store. Despite an overload of available information and an exploding number of touchpoints, the benefit of getting expert recommendations can make a significant impact on purchase decisions, especially when there are so many choices in many markets.

In particular, expert recommendations made by healthcare professionals (HCPs) are highly valued and can influence purchase decisions. In fact, GfK’s study uncovered that 30% of health purchases are driven by HCP-based recommendations*.

Empowering marketers through insights from our proprietary virtual platform

Existing evaluation protocols can be challenging when it’s necessary for the marketer to have a full understanding of the sales process involving a consumer sales dialogue. That’s why we have now merged our shopper research solutions with a leading-edge virtual store approach where we can mimic selling through expert recommendations.

With the use of scripted conversations, leveraged in a virtual pharmacy environment, our Simstore Dialogue platform empowers marketers to address business questions like:

  • How can expert recommendations impact purchasing behavior?
  • How appealing and impactful is our messaging?
  • What is the market potential of our new product?
  • What is the effect of expert recommendations, when combined with marketing ideas such as POS material or design changes?

Adding predictive power to the consumer health marketer’s toolbox

Simstore Dialogue is designed to enable marketers to understand and optimize the consumer/HCP consultation dialogue and optimize consumer interactions in a simulated pharmacy to reveal whether a proposed scenario will have a significant impact on sales.

At our May 9 webinar, “Partnering virtual pharmacies and expert recommendations to drive powerful consumer health marketing,” our experts will discuss the benefits of Simstore Dialogue for optimizing pharmacy selling strategies.

By joining our webinar, you will get a full introduction to this next-generation platform, and learn how Merck has already successfully piloted it. You will also learn the power of pairing virtual pharmacies, together with expert recommendation research to inform your most impactful consumer health marketing yet.

Register for our latest consumer health webinar
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